I bought the "cheap '69" Squier Affinity Stratocaster
It took me 46 days to get this thing. Is this the "modern dream JV?" It might be.
I ordered this on 11 February 2022 and did not get it until 46 days later on 29 March 2022. It's the longest I've ever had to wait for a preordered guitar. And yes, that's a bit ridiculous for a sub-$300 Squier.
The most collectible Squier Stratocaster of all time is the JV series from the '80s. As far as "dream guitars" from Squier are concerned, that's as good as it gets...
...but it's not a guitar I actually want. What I've been chasing after for years is what the new Stratocaster Affinity model has. Olympic White body, big headstock with proper STRATOCASTER "swoop" font in a 1969 Fender Stratocaster style, and slotted tuner posts. In addition to that, the Affinity has a neck with good chunk to it, a single string tree and tone control wired to the bridge pickup.
The new Affinity is the one Squier finally got right. Right look, right weight (it's light), right electronics, right hardware.
This is not my first venture into getting a big-headstock Squier Strat. In 2012, I had a Vintage Modified Squier Strat. Had to go back because of bridge issues (I discovered a screw mounted improperly by the factory). In 2013, I briefly had a Squier Standard Stratocaster. In 2015, I briefly had a Squier '70s Stratocaster. Both guitars were returned. The Standard's neck didn't feel right, and the '70s model, while better, still didn't cut the mustard. All these guitars had the wrong STRATOCASTER font on the headstock, and that bothered me.
Then there is the new Affinity. This one is, again, the one Squier got right.
Love the look, but have no desire for the genuine article
By genuine, I mean actual vintage Fender.
I was born in the '70s, and all Fender Stratocasters of that era had big headstocks on them. But the one that stuck out to me the most was the late '60s and early '70s models in Olympic White that faded to yellow. However, I've no desire to actually own one.
On the actual '69 Fender Stratocaster and '70s era Strats, none of them had 5-way switches until 1977, many were boat-anchor heavy, none had a reverse wound middle pickup (for noise canceling on switch positions 2 and 4), and Fender was using very skinny fret wire in that era. Also, Strat bodies of the '70s were less contoured compared to decades before and after that to reduce production cost. To put that in basic terms, the bodies feel a little more plank-like.
All this being said, yes I very much appreciate the modern body, modern hardware and modern electronics of the Squier. I don't have to mod the guitar at all to make it do what I want since everything is already built-in.
Best big-headstock Strat from Squier ever?
I think it is, but some many prefer the Squier Classic Vibe '70s Stratocaster just because it's "more '70s" than the Affinity is (especially considering a natural finish option is available, which is a staple '70s look).
However, I didn't want a '70s. I wanted something as close to a '69 as possible, and the Affinity fits that look better, for cheaper.
I'm glad I got mine.